Endless Beer and Sausage

Tuesday, October 11, The Tour de France restaurant group held the Endless Beer and Sausage event at 404 to kick off their Suds and Sausage week. 404 was a great space for the event with the food and beer occupying the lower level while the mezzanine housed couches and a bar with some rare beers that beer sommelier Gianni Cavicchi brought for small samplings. Each restaurant cooked up a sausage dish that Gianni expertly paired with beer:

Nice Matin: Sausage de Morteau with Frisee & Roquefort
Paired with- Maredsous “8” Brune, Breendonk-Puurs, Belgium

Marseille: Boudin Blanc with Green Apple Puree, Mustard Oil & Celery Salad
Paired with- Duvel “Single” Strong Blonde Ale Breendonk-Puurs, Belgium.

L’Express: Tajine of Lamb Sausage, Merguez & Quince, Steamed Semolina
Paired with- Ommegang “Hennepin” Saison, Cooperstown, New York

Pigalle: Petit Chausson aux Porc Rillons et Pommes
Paired with- Ommegang “Three Philosophers” Quadruple, Cooperstown, New York

Cafe d’Alsace: Shrimp & Scallop Sausage with Lentils & Saffron Sauce
Paired with- Ommegang “Witte” Belgian White, Cooperstown, New York

Le Monde: Pheasant sausage with celery root puree & blackberry sauce
Paired with- Ommegang “BPA” Belgian Pale Ale, Cooperstown, New York

Maison: Duck Confit Sausage Cassoulet
Paired with-  Brasserie d’Achouffe “Mc Chouffe” Scotch Ale, Achouffe, Belgium.

French Roast: Venison Sausage with Spaetzle & Port Wine Sauce
Paired with- Ommegang “Abbey Ale” Dubble, Cooperstown, New York

Savory & Sweet: Chocolate Salami
Paired with- Liefmans “Cuvée Brut” Lambic, Oudenaarde, Belgium

Our favorite pairing was French Roast’s venison sausage with the Ommegang Abbey Ale. The earthiness of the venison was well balanced by the sweetness of the port wine sauce and the dark fruit flavors of the abbey ale. We also really enjoyed the boudin blanc paired with Duvel Single. The Duvel was subtle enough to let the sausage and apple puree shine through. One of the richer pairings was the duck confit sausage with cassoulet (below) paired with the Brasserie d’Achouffe Mc Chouffe. The slight smoke of the Mc Chouffe nicely lifted and complemented the fattiness of the duck and the weight of the beans.

In addition to the pairings we got to try some special, or cellared, beers. Some of these were simply fantastic. Gianni wowed a few of us with a 2004 Westvleteren 12 that had an incredible aroma, a velvety smooth mouthfeel and a restrained caramel sweetness. A 2003 bottle of Allagash’s Curieux had mellowed out nicely and lost some of the sharpness of fresh Curieux. Ommegang’s Aphrodite was on tap with a great tartness that thankfully stayed away from some of the vinegar flavors you can get in sours.

Gianni on the right

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